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Analog or Digital Manifold?

Looking for some pros and Cons on the New Digital Manifold/Analyzers that are out there, Testo 550 & the SMAN 3 by Fieldpiece, anyone using these brands of Gauges? Or do you prefer the Analog Manifold more? Thanks for any input guys


  • ddlong1286@yahoo.com
    SMAN 3

    Used the SMAN 3 this summer. Loved the micron gauge in it. Almost bought the Testo 550, but was told the sman 3 included hoses and would have been a better buy, but no hoses. Glad I have the sman 3. Would like to use the Testo and see if better or just different.

    Would like it if  FieldPiece woudl have a 4 valve manifold..

    .Don in Mo
  • sasman
    sasman Member Posts: 32
    edited November 2011
    analog vs digital

    go with the SMAN3, Russell Harju with Fieldpiece has always answered any concern I've had.

    i've got 2 of the  testo 550,, good thing- because they alternate being sent back to testo to get repaired, after warranty is up, will probably 86'em.

    Fieldpiece now has the SMAN3 in a blow molded case (haven't seen it-personally)

    the supply house you get them from (whichever one) will make the experience good or bad...........

    if you don't understand what you are measuring, stick with the analogs until you do,

    go behind "techs" with digital gauges that can't see/understand what the gages are telling them, just because they don't understand what all those #'s indicate

    also,,, "charge is good"  is not  appropriate..my reply to that statement (whether seasoned "tech" or not) is PROVE IT
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343

    I am still "Old School" and I have a hard time adjusting my brain to the digital anything.  My main concern was reaction time during cold winter months.  I now have a few digital meters of every kind, and for the most part they are OK.  One thing I do still contend with is,......Questioning my digital read outs......   I sometimes stop trusting what I am reading and automatically I send in for a calibration.  But that's just me.

         It sucks when I start questioning my meters...........

    Mike T.
  • furnacefigher15
    furnacefigher15 Member Posts: 514

    The only way to go as far as I'm concerned.

    I can see why you might want a electronic gizmo, but have a back up.

    I also continually need multiple gauge sets for large systems, and digital would be too expensive (not that analog is cheap)
  • ddlong1286@yahoo.com

    Eventually the majority will be digital. They will get cheaper and you will see two or more hanging in a truck, along with an analog.

    Back ups are a must, but can get out of hand.

    Don in MO
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678

    I am old school too. But I have a Testo 550 and it is extremely useful. Especially on a troublesome system. I still carry my old Yellow Jacket sets in the truck and use them more often than the Testo.

    However, sometimes the digital set gives me so much more information, that it is invaluable when troubleshoot a system that has been giving us fits. Yes, I have the charts and can do the math to determine the information, but having it at my fingertips is a real luxury. It frees my feeble brain up to concentrate on other things.

    If you are just starting out, go analog until you learn what the numbers actually mean. Understand what SH and SC are and what it tells you about the system. Understand the delicate balance between temperature and pressure.

    Once you have all that, then you are ready for digital gauges.

    Good Luck
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